Bell's Bull In A China Shop | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.20%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by chinchill on 08-17-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 5 | Ratings: 86
Photo of mothman
3.69/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Color was a ruby hued amber copper.

Nose is a candied syrup. Sugary sweet with caramel.

Flavor profile: Caramel and toffee malts. A lot of tropical fruits. Citrus, pineapple, and mango. Floral hops. Very citrusy.

Mouthfeel: Dank and citrusy. Medium bodied.

Overall, solid bwine with lots of flavor. Very Americanized with tons of hops.

 339 characters

Photo of barczar
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a fairly clear orange copper with a lingering frothy cream head.

Aroma is surprisingly fruity, with notes of mango and pineapple joining muted grapefruit, countering a boozy, caramelly sweet malt note.

Flavor reveals lots of floral hop character initially, with malt sweetness hitting mid palate and carrying into a fairly bitter finish. Muted citrus, grapefruit, balance the sweetness well. Resin lingers in the aftertaste.

Body is fairly full, with carbonation on the low side and fairly high alcohol warmth.

Hops definitely dominate, but the malt character is strong enough to add depth. A little hot. Malt complexity is somewhat dwarfed by the hop character.

 674 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

With the elegance of its juicy malt center to seduce the palate and then its brazen hop bitterness to pang away at the palate with its citrus bite, its grace and its power make this such and aptly named barleywine.

Its succulent toffee sweetness greets the nose and the tip of the tongue with buttery caramel, maple and whole grain crust. Nutty like pecan and bready like pancake, the initial sip is powerfully sweet and savory.

And as its creamy sweetness quivers slightly, the leeway for hops step up- bringing about a plethora of citrusy flavors lead by vibrant orange and lesser pink grapefruit. As its estery side shows, other fruits of pineapple, apricot, sultan, date, mango and passion fruit wrap around the beer's residual biscuity sweetness for a high marmalade effect.

Its long finish allows the fruity sweetness to dissolve slowly as spicy flavors emerge. Both rum and port alcohols give a peppery and shy balance to the sweetness as its allows its pithy bitterness to carry much of the load, dragging behind the herbal earthiness of tea leaf and fresh-pulled tobacco.

With a deeply rooted English type of maltiness and yeast portrayal, the deeply hued amber ale sings British brewing praises but its hop balance is as much of the Pacific Northwest as it is of the British Isles.

 1,295 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a well made beer, but i was honestly a little bit disappointed by this. not because its bad, in fact, its an excellent barleywine with layers upon layers of rich grain sweetness and toffee candy and english ale yeast and raisins and tobacco and everything we all know and love about barleywines. bells just makes so much interesting beer. really off centered stuff that sticks. there is nothing unconventional about this, not in the slightest. not a critique necessarily, just an observation. it doesnt excite me like so much of their beer does. very rich, better when its warm, and hiding its alcohol about as well as it should at 8.2%. i could probably not pick it out from a crowd of barleywines, but i liked everything about it, especially the way the dried fruit flavors meshed into the rich grain, a subtle complexity that works. overall solid beer but maybe a little less inspired than others. also a little too sweet for large volume consumption.

 954 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bull In A China Shop on tap at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe where ABV was listed as 8.2%.
Orange-honey colored, clear with a durable but small head.
Very faint hint of vinegar mars the aroma which is otherwise appealing. Hints of honey and fresh fruits.

Medium body and carbonation. Slight tongue burn.
T: good sweet/bitter balance.

O: Light barleywine; good but a bit disappointing.

 391 characters

Bell's Bull In A China Shop from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.7 out of 5 based on 86 ratings.
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